We left Waiheke on the 9am ferry, picked up our hire car and were in Hamilton by midday. Our next accommodation was a super little Airbnb flat (resolution..keep tidy). We met Steve and his Mum, Linda, who’d both arrived in Hamilton a few days earlier, for an evening meal then set off the next day to meet Claire and family.
We travelled South from Hamilton through rolling, lush, green countryside that looked rather English except for the large numbers of cattle.
Claire and family had been travelling slowly north for the last few days yet we arrived within 2 mins of each other. Sat Nav, or GPS as they call it in NZ, has worked perfectly…..so far…
Waitomo is famous for the glow worms in it’s limestone caves – New Zealand is one of only two places in the world to have them – the other is Australia.
Spending 3 hours in caves was not everyone’s idea of how to spend a sunny day. Even so all eight of us set off by mini bus driven by our guide along roads and tracks through rolling green pastures with outcrops of rock and areas of woodland.
We walked 10 minutes down to the first cave where we each put on our hard hat complete with head torch.
After another 10 minute walk through a tunnel into the cave we switched off the lights and there were glowworms all around us! We then boarded a small boat for a magical voyage in the dark with glow worms overhead.
The worms are the larvae of a gnat and thrive in moist dark caves. The lifecycle is complex but let’s just say the glow is a chemical reaction. Pictures don’t do the experience justice but none of us will forget it.
After a daylight break for hot chocolate and biscuits we visited more caves where, as well as glowworms, we saw amazing limestone rock formations and cave coral.
The excitement mounted as we all drove back Hamilton for dinner at Poonam’s parents home, the next day would be Day 1 of the wedding celebrations.
We’ll be back to tell you all about it in a few days